The Philippines, now formally known as the Republic of the Philippines, has an interesting history. It consists of about 7,600 islands sharing maritime borders with Taiwan to the north, Japan to the northeast, Indonesia to the south, Malaysia to the southwest, Vietnam to the west and China to the northwest. At approximately 110MM, the Philippines is the world’s 13th most populous country and has diverse ethnicities and cultures.
Although there is a history of Hinduism and Islam, the Portuguese explorer Magellan, leading a Spanish fleet, marked the beginning of Spanish colonization in the 1540’s, thus establishing Catholicism as the dominant religion. After the Spanish-American War, Spain ceded the Philippines to the United States, which control lasted until the Japanese invasion which commenced just after Pearl Harbor. The Philippines became independent in 1946 and is a democracy, although not without political upheaval in the past.
Today the Philippines is an emerging market with a more industrialized society as it transitions from being agriculturally based to service and manufacturing centered. It is an important trade partner for the U.S. The largest city is Quezon City with the capital being Manila where our ministry work is centered. According to the government’s statistics, just under 20% of the population lives in poverty, but other sources put that figure much higher. In any event, it is evident that there are multitudes that are “food poor” coupled with a high unemployment rate.
Although Christianity is the dominant faith in the Philippines, approximately 90% of those identifying as Christian follow Catholicism and only 6-7% of believers identify as evangelical Christians so the need is great. We have partnered with Manila based Biblical Seminary of the Philippines and have been conducting “hour of power” preaching viz Zoom with the students as well as pastors. Although there exists a strong core of willing pastors, proper doctrinal and pastoral training is much needed. We have strong local leaders on the ground with approximately 500 church plants in various stages of progress which is most encouraging as we only entered the country in May 2021.
The gospel message has been gratefully received and quickly absorbed by the Filipinos we have been blessed to reach so far. We are also encouraged that the younger generation seems generally open to seeking the Lord and learning his word and his ways. We are blessed by our partnership with the Biblical Seminary of the Philippines which allows us to leverage our established leadership teaching platforms to equip the workers for effective evangelism and church planting.
Prayer/Church Planter Support Request
Please pray for blessing upon our continued work with the Biblical Seminary of the Philippines that the workers might receive the proper training and for the Filipinos to be open to hearing and accepting the truth of the gospel message.
Also, please consider supporting a field worker/church planter for $350/month.